Today I want to share with you my thoughts on two recently released sewing books. I'll be giving one away at the end!
Inspiration is good. But I especially value those artists that push me farther - beyond inspired to challenged. Malka Dubrawsky's newest book "Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration" is that kind of challenge. Her work challenges me to embrace color more passionately, to get more gutsy with freemotion quilting and to allow myself to work with more freedom at times. I simply can't put down this book.
Fresh Quilting includes projects both big and small. For those new to quilting she included an extensive "essentials techniques" section (16 pages, lots of diagrams). I learned a few new-to-me tricks, actually! Malka explores a wide variety of shapes beyond the square and rectangle, like diamonds, hexagons and circles. It's all quite delicious, but this saturated image is the one I keep coming back to again and again:
Solids or almost-solids. Freehand straight(ish) quilting. Simple rectangles. But something about this quilt draws me in. I just want to stare and stare at it, as if by looking I can somehow absorb the design sensibilities of the artist. And, yet, I don't find myself planning to make this quilt...
The project in the book that I am most drawn to recreate is this "four points tote". It's the diamond shape that grabs me and those amazing wooden handles complete win me over. I haven't committed yet, since I so recently made my Garden Party Purse, but it may happen someday.
For whatever reason, Malka's book is not inspiring me to recreate. Instead, it is challenging me to create myself. To sew like I really want to, no holding back - especially on color. I'm sure that Malka's work has fed my concept of the Bottled Rainbows Quilt-Along and helped give me the vision for my secrete magazine project too.
Malka is innovative. That's the truth. This is not your average sewing book. If you love color or modern shapes, I think you will really enjoy Fresh Quilting.
The good folks at Interweave also sent me Yoshiko Jinzenji's new release "Quilting Line + Color." The cover immediately caught my eye. When I opened the book, the introduction began, "All the quilts featured in this book are inspired by the color white. We offer you dozens of simple, fresh quilt design, each one inviting you to open your imagination and add your own vision to the open spaces created by the whites." And, to be honest, I knew right then and there that this was not the book for me. I'm too much of a color junkie.
Many (not all) of the designs are quite abstract, hence the subtitle "Tecniques and Designs for Abstract Quilts." Jinzenji is a well-known Japanese artist whose work is featured in the likes of the Museum of Modern Art and Design and the Victoria and Albert Museum. So, certainly, if you appreciate modern art this book will truly inspire you. I absolutely enjoyed perusing it, but I know for a fact that someone else will love and use it more than I ever could.
This honeycomb quilt was my favorite project. The uneven edge and variations on honeycomb size are so playful.
I was also drawn to this charming tulle bag. Nope, the picture's not fuzzy! The colored balls are sewn onto the ends of its drawstrings. Her use of layers and textures is very unique, don't you think?
Quilting Line + Color is a substantial book (192 pages) with very thorough, illustrated directions for making each project. The directions portion of this book is so clear and well-done, which is unusual (in my experience) amongst Japanese style books. Paper patterns included.
If you would like to give Quilting Line + Color a happy home, please add your comment here to enter the giveaway. US entries only please (it's a heavy book)! The random number generator just may choose your number when I make the draw on Sunday morning, February 27th.